21 November 2012

A 'candid camera' conservation project

This is part of a series by Jerod, about his bison research.  All photos are by Jerod, unless noted otherwise.

As photographers, we are intrigued by both the artistic and scientific possibilities presented by wildlife photography.  Since starting his Ph.D. here in Quebec City, Jerod has been exploring these options with some interesting results.

Among other things, he has discovered that while digital photography has made photographing life - and wildlife - easier than ever, applying that technology to conservation research is not so straightforward.    On the other hand, ever-advancing software and camera equipment have made hands-off animal monitoring increasingly feasible.

We recently co-authored a two-part 'plain language' article detailing some of the complexities and potential of using photography as a research tool. Specifically, we described how Jerod is using photography as a key part of his analysis of plains bison living in north-central Saskatchewan.  Entitled Conservation photography as more than just a hobby, the article gives a good idea of what Jerod is up to when he's out there 'chasing bison.'  

As if using big nice cameras to take great photos isn't good enough, we've already heard from one reader located in Australia.  He indicated he might be able to use photography to help with his research on carpet pythons, which sounds fascinating.  I'm excited to see what other examples people share to illustrate the usefulness of combining images with ecology, wildlife management, and other sciences.  After all, that's where scientific study began.

The article was published over the past two weeks on Early Career Ecologists, a website which strives to "promote communication between researchers and the public, provide a venue for early-career ecologists to communicate their science," present research from diverse fields, and to "promote interdisciplinary collaboration within the next generation of academics and researchers."


Gene said...

Cool stuff!

Bethann said...

Thank you! :)  I find it pretty interesting, too.  Fun to tag along, for sure.
Happy Thanksgiving,

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